LOS ANGELES –  On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom nominated Fourth District Court of Appeal Justice Patricia Guerrero to serve as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. If confirmed, Guerrero would be the first Latina to serve on the state’s high court. Please attribute the following statement on the nomination of Justice Guerrero to Ernest I. Herrera, Western Regional Counsel for MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):

“Governor Newsom’s nomination of Justice Patricia Guerrero to serve on the California Supreme Court is an overdue recognition of the lack of representation of Latina women in the judiciary of our country’s largest state.  Justice Guerrero’s pro bono legal service to immigrants and years of public service and judicial experience make her an excellent candidate to provide justice to all Californians, including Latinos, at the high court.

“However, there is much progress to be made when it comes to Latino representation in California.  Despite representing more than 39% of California’s total population, Latinos make up only about 12% of California’s Superior Court Judges and an even lower proportion of California Court of Appeals Justices.  Even though California’s Supreme Court has three Justices who are women and four who are people of color, Justice Guerrero would be the first Latina to serve on the Court if confirmed.

“MALDEF encourages California’s elected officials, California law schools, and the State Bar of California to continue to redress the historical discrimination and present inequities that result in underrepresentation of Latinas in the state judiciary.  The nomination of Justice Guerrero is a positive step forward for California.”